DUMB BLOOD, the debut album from London-based VANT, has all the elements of a goulash if you took the most delicious ingredients of ’70s punk, ’80s stadium rock, ’90s grunge, and Utopian literature of any time period. Surprising flavor combinations of Nirvana, Coldplay, Catfish and The Bottlemen, and Foo Fighters all creep into the sound VANT has created since forming in 2014.
Amidst the blatant anti-establishment tones and themes throughout the album is a radio-friendly sound just waiting to be picked up by the masses. This juxtaposition can be summed up within the very mainstream-capable PEACE AND LOVE: “We need peace and love all you motherf***ers.” Imagine a world where VANT’s messages are spliced into the songs you hear on the radio. Subliminally, the population would be picking up on what’s happening in the world. Maybe we’re working towards that, and maybe VANT is leading the charge.
I had a chance to throw a few questions in Mattie Vant’s direction, in anticipation of their set at Lollapalooza this weekend. Punk is not dead. Punk is dormant.
What is the ultimate goal you have in mind when creating music?
To connect with people. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only person that feels complete hopelessness and frustration towards this world.
What would you say about punk music, the punk movement to someone who has no idea what it means and represents?
Punk is dead.
WHY ALL CAPS?
I see the titles of my songs as headlines with the lyrics being the subsequent article.
A friend of mine and I were talking about the similarities between punk and hip hop when it comes to messaging and differences in delivery. Any thoughts on the two genres and how we might unite to defeat the common enemy?
I think hip-hop is the new punk. It is the only mainstream genre that uses its voice to comment on society and politics. I have great admiration for a lot of hip hop artists, my two favourite albums this year so far are Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. & Tyler the Creator’s Scum Fuck Flower Boy. I’m always trying to find ways to incorporate elements of hip hop into my new material.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Berners Lee. What an amazing song especially in today’s day and age. How many listeners do you think know who he is and what he’s done that’s effecting their life today? Also, was the www an intentional decision in the song title?
Well spotted! I think you’re the first person to notice the WWW. It’s an interesting point, Greenie actually met his granddaughter a while back and got his address. I keep meaning to send him a copy of the album, so he can hear my ode to his creation!
“Our legislation is so black and white.” How do we change that?
Protest, civil disobedience, acceptance of others, and leading by example.
Every song off of the Karma Seeker EP made the album except for JESUS WAS A CONMAN. Why is that?
I would have had it on there in an ideal world but everyone agreed it may well have made the “deluxe” a bit too “deluxe.”
“We need peace and love. We need Mother Nature. For the same reason. We want peace and love. We want Mother Nature…when they’re in season.” How do we get the masses to take those things more seriously and pursue them more aggressively to ensure that peace, love, and Mother Nature are just as prioritized as war, segregation, and the depletion of our natural resources? How?
Well that is the eternal question isn’t it? As long as we choose to pursue greed and personal gain then we will never achieve those ambitions. We need to reprogram our psyches and find new goals in life. A lot of people have different desires and unfortunately they always will. Universal happiness can’t exist in western society. Utopian cult anyone?
What can festival-goers expect from your performance at Lollapalooza this year?The last punk show we’ll ever play in America before we move on to VANT Mach II. It’ll be raw and very loud.
Any plans while in Chicago? Or is this an all-business trip?
We always love to explore when we can, it is one of the biggest perks and privileges of being a touring musician. I’m going to check the Art Institute out, I love Edward Hopper and I’ve heard there is a good collection there.
What’s next for VANT?
The cocoon. Fuck knows what we’ll emerge as but it’s definitely going to fly.
VANT appears at Lollapalooza on Sunday, August 6th at 12:45pm on the Grant Park stage.